Book Reviews

Book By: Patricia Hudak and Jullien Gordon
Review By: Anne M. London 
Senior Academic Advisor
Grand Valley State University

101 Things to do Before You Graduate is designed to give the reader an edge into college life beyond what classes and textbooks have to offer. Although the title may cater to college students, there are a myriad of audiences for this book and a multitude of different ways the book can be used. Potential readers may include students, parents, high school teachers and counselors, advisors and other higher education professionals.

College students will certainly benefit from the surplus of information covered in this book. Some of the advice given is well-known, such as visiting professors during office hours (p. 8) and other advice less familiar, but still valuable, like taking your professor to lunch (p. 12). Other insightful pieces of advice include perfecting your 30 second speech (p. 54) and doing your own taxes (p. 142). All goals listed in the book are presented with a detailed explanation followed by 3-6 steps on how to accomplish each task.

Students are not the only ones who could benefit from the information in this book. Parents who have never attended or did not graduate college may find the book creates an avenue of discussion with their student. Beside parents and students, 101 Things to do Before you Graduate should be one of the books high school guidance counselors and teachers keep on their shelves to prepare students for college life and expectations. Some of the goals listed can even be accomplished while still in high school, like defining three ways to measure success (p. 190) and being a mentor (p. 183).

Academic advisors could also benefit from reading and using this book in their work with students. Although advisors can pull information from education, experience, and mentors in the field, material presented in this book could further enlighten and enhance their current knowledge base. What advisors may also appreciate about the book is that it lends itself well to goal-setting. Because the book breaks down goals into manageable parts, students can work closely with their advisor through each of the goals separately without feeling overwhelmed. Readers can also begin at any goal without reading the entire book in sequence to benefit.

Although 101 Things to do Before you Graduate is a great source of information to a myriad of readers, it may be less of a direct resource to academic advisors. Also, some strategies listed within the book may not be applicable to students at all higher education institutions. Some examples of this include the concept that visiting professors during office hours provides students with the benefit of the doubt when grades are on the border line (p. 8) and that all students should earn their real estate license, because they may own a home in the future (p. 154). Some of these may not be pieces of advice that advisors would recommend due to the population or university programs and policies they are working with. Despite this, what advisors may appreciate is the author’s creative and innovative approach in how to get the most out of college.

101 Things to do Before You Graduate. (2011). Book by Patricia Hudak & Jullien Gordon. Review by Anne M. London, College Transition Publishing. 256 pp., $19.95, (Paperback), ISBN #978-0-984518-4-5

Actions: E-mail | Permalink |